“I feel most proud of myself that I’m doing better in school,” LeighAnn, a fourth grade mentee explains.  “I was shy without Ms. Connie and when someone would talk to me, I was quiet, but now I’m more confident talking to anyone.”

LeighAnn and her mentor Connie are inseparable and even describe themselves as “peanut butter and jelly.”

They came into each other’s lives through CHS’ MODEL Mentoring Program over a year and a half ago and enjoy their weekly visits together. They fill their time with many different activities including reading, trips to the park, educational visits to Loggerhead, painting, ice skating, movies, crafts and more.

During their time they discuss having a positive attitude, practicing good manners, always doing our best, and working hard in school.

“Being a mentor was a great fit and I was very excited to be one. LeighAnn was a perfect match,” shares Connie. “We always have a great time and I get a lot of joy being her mentor.”

Connie and LeighAnn try to meet once a week and fill their time together with fun and educational experiences and conversation. Connie says, “During our time together, we talk about everything. We always try to remember that everything is not going to be perfect but you should always try your best.”

LeighAnn finds the time they share fun and helpful, saying, “Connie has helped me be more creative and even learn about taking care of myself. She helps me with my school, too so I can succeed.”

Leigh Ann has grown tremendously since pairing with Connie.  Connie shares that the experience has been incredibly rewarding because it makes me feel proud seeing her improved social and personal development.

Seeing LeighAnn blossom has been a joy for Connie, and she knows she will continue to be a support system for her for many years to come.

“I see LeighAnn being a part of my life always and forever,” Connie shares. “I will always be there to provide support and encouragement when she is having great days and when she falls down. I can’t wait to watch her grow up into a young lady. I will forever walk beside her.”

“Becoming a mentor was the best decision and I would encourage everyone to change the life of a child and become a mentor,” she continues. To learn more about the Children’s Home Society of Florida MODEL Mentoring Program or how to become a mentor, visit here.